San Francisco's last kosher grocery closes - Israel Business, Ynetnews

   Israel News

Israel News
World News
Israel Opinion
Israel Business
Israel Culture
Israel Travel
End of Era

In San Francisco, a locally-owned kosher grocery is a vanishing business (archives) Photo: Index Open
In San Francisco, a locally-owned kosher grocery is a vanishing business (archives) Photo: Index Open

San Francisco's last kosher grocery closes

Owner of 'Israel's Strictly Kosher,' which sells homemade pastries and latkes, says big-box stores have made it impossible for store to stay alive
Published: 02.09.13, 07:54 / Israel Business

VIDEO – In San Francisco, an era is ending. The last remaining kosher grocery store is closing. In a time of big box stores and changing demographics, a locally-owned kosher grocery is a vanishing business.


"Israel's Strictly Kosher" is like a trip back to the old country. It sells homemade pastries and latkes, and a wide variety of all types of kosher grocery items.


Video courtesy of


It first opened in 1949 and changed hands several times over the years. At one point it served as a live poultry market, where customers could choose the chicken they wanted and have it slaughtered right in the store. But a lot has changed since then.


Faina Avrutina plans to close the store in March, after running it for 10 years. A native of Ukraine, she's worked many long hours to keep this pillar of the local Jewish community afloat.


Jewish Life
Brussels: Kosher restaurant gains popularity /
Belgian capital's Jewish population forms its own non-profit company to set up restaurant which has now become desirable place to visit for Jews, non-Jews from all over the world
Full story

Located just steps from the Golden Gate bridge, this San Francisco neighborhood is known for its Russian Jewish population.


Faina does every job at "Israel's Kosher" – from cutting the meat to cooking Russian style chicken cutlets for customers.


There isn't much business here, but loyal customers still trickle in for Faina's from-scratch cooking and personal service.


Faina's daughter, Maya, says that the store has served as a place of Jewish pride for Ukrainian or Russian immigrants who grew up during World War II and had to hide their religion for fear of persecution.


But there aren't that many members of that generation left. And big-box stores have made it impossible for "Israel's Kosher" to stay alive


The big stores also could get better prices from suppliers. "Israel's Kosher" had increasing wholesale prices that also drove it to close.


While the San Francisco bay area still has kosher groceries in nearby Oakland and San Jose, San Francisco will be without its own when Faina closes the doors.


San Franciscans will have to use the growing chain stores for their kosher needs. As for Faina, she hopes to make a transition to kosher catering.



commentcomment   PrintPrint  Send to friendSend to friend   
Tag with Bookmark to

6 Talkbacks for this article    See all talkbacks
Please wait for the talkbacks to load


RSS RSS | About | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of use | Advertise with us | Site Map

Site developed by  YIT Advanced Technology Solutions